Role of the teacher A teacher can provide the greatest
A teacher can provide the greatest source of information for many students. In many ways, a teacher is a mentor for whom the students can turn to for encouragement, knowledge, and feedback. Thus, a teacher must be available and receptive to his/her students to provide a support system when conquering a new language. By motivating the students to try the language concepts and to participate, a teacher is building the foundation necessary for the students to gain interest in this field. Many teachers believe in situated motivation, where the teacher is responsible for the environmental and extrinsic conditions (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia website). Without encouragement and motivation, it is unlikely that the students will want to expand their knowledge and be willing to participate. This TEFL course demonstrates various ways to get the students involved and motivate them to try. A great deal of the motivation tactics lie with the teacher and how he/she gets the students involved. Therefore, the teacher must get to know individual students in order to learn their interests and develop topics that they would want to talk about.
Students attend language classes for many reasons, with the most obvious being to learn. Depending on the class size, student level, and students' interests, there are a variety of ways that the teacher can help the students learn. Common teaching aids are pictures, videos, props for role playing, and personal photos. Demonstrating and illustrating the various concepts helps the students visualize what the teacher is trying to get across. It is not likely that a student can master the language by studying a textbook, but will often need visual and verbal cues. A teacher is the most obvious source of knowledge for students by providing verbal examples of concepts through their everyday instructions. It is important for a teacher to provide exercises relevant to the concepts being taught to help the students understand the learning material. A student will look to the teacher for knowledge of the language, and the teacher must convey the concepts in a coherent and clear manner.
When a student completes an exercise, the teacher will have to correct it. Correcting a student's work requires the teacher to not only fix any mistakes, but to offer feedback on how to improve. By providing constructive feedback, the teacher is expanding a student's knowledge and will improve their understanding of the subject. The key to correcting students is not to make them feel embarrassed or ashamed, but to make them realize that everyone makes mistakes and all you can do is improve. A teacher needs to be aware that when giving feedback to a student, he/she should focus on what the student did correctly and congratulate them on their progression when giving tips (Konold et al., 2004). It is also important for the teacher to take an authoritarian role during class to keep the students' behaviors under control. If a class is not managed efficiently, it is likely that the students will not listen to or learn the material being taught. It is always good to have fun in class, but other students should not disrupt the learning process for everyone.
The different roles reviewed in this article have been greatly discussed throughout the TEFL course. It is not enough to just follow a rule-book or guidelines, but a teacher must incorporate his/her own style in the class. A great teacher depends on his/her qualities and personal aims as a teacher. A teacher that strives to create a good learning environment and to improve the students' knowledge of the language will be the most successful.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation#Applications_in_education_and _instructional_design website. Accessed on Saturday, August 19, 2006.
Konold, K.E., Konold, K.B., and Miller, S.P. 2004. Using teacher feedback to enhance student learning. http://18.104.22.168/search' q=cache:M1jFUuIGygQJ:journals.sped.org/EC/Archive_Articles/VOL.36NO.6 JulyAugust2004_TEC_Konald%252036- 6.pdf+teacher+feedback&hln&ct=clnk&cd=1 website. Accessed on Saturday, August 19, 2006.
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